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Butcher shop: Homegrown in attitude, products

If you go:

  • 7660 Fay Avenue, La Jolla
  • Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • (858) 454-6328

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www.homegrownmeats.com

Parlaying his passion for food into a new health-conscious venture seemed only natural to restaurateur Matt Rimel, owner of Rimel’s Rotisserie and Zenbu.

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In August, he and partners Peter Morris, Jay Rehm and Dan Snyder opened Homegrown Meats, a boutique-style butcher shop at 7660 Fay Ave. that offers antibiotic- and hormone-free meats.

From an early age, the La Jolla native spent time on his grandparent’s Escondido ranch, where they raised their own cattle, sheep and turkeys.

“I grew up on the flavor of what beef really tastes like,” Rimel said.

From the produce to the meats, the shop only carries California-grown products that are humanely treated and environmentally practical. It features grass-fed beef from Mendenhall Ranch on Palomar Mountain, two hours northeast of downtown San Diego.

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“It’s all about being homegrown and bringing it back to the farmer and the rancher,” Rimel said. “On top of that, everything’s dry-aged, like 7 to 10 days, which is another totally different thing from other markets.”

If you have a desire for something unusual, pre-order wild turkey for Thanksgiving or try the New Zealand lamb, wild boar, house-cured prosciutto and bacon, Hemet pheasants, chickens from Petaluma Poultry, duck and ostrich.

“We’re selling rabbits and venison and buffalo and partridges,” Rimel said.

“Everything from grass-fed tongue and brains, people are buying all parts of the animal, it’s pretty neat. We’re sort of an old-world butcher, where our animals are coming in whole, so we have things that nobody else can offer.”

The shop also features ocean-fresh fish - the majority wild - including Hawaiian and San Diego ono, ahi tuna, grouper and halibut, from Rimel’s eco-friendly Ocean Giant company.

Their Web site will soon allow customers to have meat shipped fresh from the shop.

Homegrown Meats already has fans - customers from Rimel’s restaurants, as well as new ones - and La Jolla resident Alexa Scoma is among them.

She takes out two to three meals a week from Rimel’s and is thrilled to have the new butcher shop in town.

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“I just feel like Matt has a recipe for success in everything he does,” Scoma said.

“I love the mom-and-pop kind of feel of it and supporting local people.”

With business thriving, expect another half dozen stores between San Diego and Los Angeles in the next two years, Rimel said.

“People are really excited about it,” he added. “You’re getting a healthier product, it makes you feel better and it’s about 94 percent lean.”

Store hours at Homegrown Meats/La Jolla Butcher Shop are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call Homegrown Meats at (858) 454-6328 or visit

www.homegrownmeats.com

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